A 2009 to 2010 study involved 38,480 children and found that 8 percent of all children ages infant to 18 suffer from food allergies. Approximately 6 percent of infants have food allergies.(1)
With food allergies on the rise, parents are often seeking answers on addressing food allergies in infants, as well as preventing them.
Mothers can help prevent infant and childhood allergies by taking a good probiotic during pregnancy!
Babies get their first exposure of gut flora from their mother’s birth canal. If the flora is abnormal, the baby’s flora will also be abnormal. The organisms that reside in the mother’s vagina coat the baby’s body and line their intestinal tract. For this reason, taking probiotics during pregnancy helps reduce the child’s risk for allergies.(2)
If you have already given birth, Dr. Elissa Abrams and Dr. Allan Becker from the Department of Pediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology at University of Manitoba encourage their patients to introduce allergenic foods at four to six months of age. After introducing these foods, then exposing them to these foods regularly will improve tolerance.(3)
Doctors now recommend introducing allergenic foods at four to six months of age and then continuing regular exposure to these foods!
Food allergies have increased 18 percent in the United States between the years of 1997-2007. The most common allergens are cow’s milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish and sesame.(3)
The recent Learning Early About Peanut study found that introducing peanuts early in high risk children reduced the risk of food allergy by 80 percent! It is recommended that children who have a high risk for allergy be evaluated prior to introducing the food.(3)
Study found that introducing peanuts early reduces risk of food allergies by 80 percent in high risk children!
As a result of this study, more groups are recommending that peanuts be introduced to an infant’s diet between 4 and 11 months. Previous guidelines states to avoid allergenic foods until 12 to 36 months of age. As a result, women are avoiding eating these foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding to try to prevent allergies. Current recommendation does not support avoidance diets as effective for allergy prevention. (3)
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends the following:
- Introduce new food every 3 to 5 days at age appropriate time frames.
- Start with grains and yellow and orange fruit and vegetables.
- Start with one potentially allergenic food such as eggs.
- Introduce highly allergenic foods at home.
- Increase the quantity of these foods over several days.(3)